The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 17, 2022: Eels Defeat Tigers



EELS 28 defeat TIGERS 20


Crowd: 13,214


It wasn’t a confident win, but two points is two points.

The Eels let their heads drop early after a couple decisions didn’t go their way. Yes, the Lane no try was a try, and there was absolutely no forward pass in the lead up to the Penisini no try. But with the officials having a shocking game, this doesn’t mean the Eels should have followed suit.  Unfortunately the Eels didn’t initially respond well and the Tigers went 12 nil up – and all Parra fans were thinking, “here we go again.”

After getting back on track, the Eels then gave the Tigers a sniff late in the game instead of putting them away and improving the points differential. It was definitely a case of not keeping the  foot on the throat.

I was expecting more from our forwards who didn’t lay the platform as they should. With Junior on rep duty and Matto out with injury, only one forward in Papali’i really stood up.

This was not an attractive match to watch. Errors and penalties marred the flow of the game, with over zealous officiating and poor handling being a feature.

Though there was much for the Eels to improve, the shining light was the better form from Parra’s halves. Mitchell Moses was a threat every time he ran the ball, and Dylan Brown was outstanding in defence.

The Key Numbers

Parramatta had just 48% of possession, which was compounded by only completing at 73% (27 from 37).

The Eels spent 39:50 in the Tigers half with 14:51 of that in the Tigers red zone.

Total metres gained were 2054m, with 1318 running metres, including 502 post contact metres.

Just one forward cleared the 100 metre mark. ‘Ice’ carried for 152m off 14 runs with 66 post contact metres. Only three backs broke the 100, with Simonsson clocking 126 run metres, Sivo 103 and Gutherson 102.

Run Heat Map

There was plenty of hard work done between the two 20 metre lines. However, the faded yellow in the Tigers half indicates that the platform wasn’t created to mount serious pressure on a wounded Tigers team.

Set Starts

There was just the single set start in the Tigers 20. As the running heat map illustrated, this meant that no real pressure was put on the Tigers line. The footy needs to be more clinical, not to mention smarter.


Parra made 350 tackles, missing 28 with 8 ineffective. This delivered a tackle efficiency of 90.7%.

Reed Mahoney was the busiest in defence with 52 tackles (7 misses), followed by Marata Niukore (40) and Shaun Lane (37).

Discipline was poor from both sides. The Eels gave away 9 penalties, 3 set restarts and made 13 errors. This was not good enough, as these errors and penalties provided piggy backs for the Tigers as they marched down field.

Strange Stat Of The Week

Reed Mahoney ran just once, gaining a grand total of  2 run metres. This is quite unusual for any 80 minute hooker. Had he not backed up in support for his try (most of which was a slide) he would have registered zero runs.

We aren’t seeing any of his cheeky darts, and our highly touted dummy half isn’t looking his usual self as of late.

Stats Player of the Week

Mitchell Moses was so dominant in this game, that he was ultimately the difference between the two teams. Quite simply, if he wasn’t out there, the Tigers could well have taken the victory. His offsider in Dylan Brown provided solid support in a much needed bounce back performance from our halves.

Check out these awesome numbers from Moses:

Minutes Played – 80

Possessions – 43

Run Metres – 86

Runs – 9

Tries – 1

Conversions – 4 from 5

Post Contact Metres – 46

Line Breaks – 2

Try Assists – 1

Kick Metres – 603

Kicks – 12

Tackles – 12

Tackle Breaks – 7


Final Thoughts

I’m going to use this platform to express my opinion on a number of issues.

Firstly, I believe that the strength of Eels bench has fallen. Our forward depth is lacking and this could be a concern for next year. However, there is one solution that I’d like to see implemented immediately.

A second hooker on the bench should be tried. Mitch Rein would do wonders for the Eels with his defence and dummy half runs. He is the type of player who could lift the team and give Reedy a spell. If Reed is fatiguing due to his 80 minute work load, his effectiveness might benefit from a mid-match rest.

Junior and RCG lay a good platform in the opening stanza of games, but when they go off, so does the Eels go forward. Our reserve forwards run hard but aren’t really bending the line.

What addition could be made to the bench to provide that lift?

Ky Rodwell is still very green and Nathan Brown seems out of favour. Perhaps Ofahiki Ogden could come into calculations. He has experience and been in good form in NSW Cup.

If I was given the job of selector, I’d go for a bench of Rein, Niukore, N. Brown and Ogden.

I’m not a fan of selecting an unused back on the bench. Opacic is a starting player and a solid defensive centre. I would be playing Blake on a wing with Opacic in the centres, which would mean Simonsson sits out. I’d even consider giving Sivo more time in reserves and elevating Sean Russell.

My most controversial opinion concerns Clint Gutherson.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our leader. But, he needs to tidy up his game a little, and it starts with his kicking.

Gutho’s attacking kicks have been very poor recently, either way too short or way, way too heavy. He runs hard and strong onto the ball, and at full tilt he doesn’t have the finesse to get the ball to pull up inside the dead ball line. Perhaps he should put the boot away for now?

I’d also like Gutho to remember what he does best. He’s a fine support player, especially when he runs off the hips of forwards. We need to see more of this. A solid video session watching tapes on Billy Slater and even James Tedesco might be in order. Leave the majority of the ball playing to Moses and D. Brown.

The Eels now have a three game run of home games against the Warriors, the Broncos, then the Panthers. All these games are winnable.

Let’s see a packed out CommBank Stadium cheering on the boys as we head into the final quarter of the season.


Yours in Blue and Gold





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16 thoughts on “Stats That Matta – Round 17, 2022: Eels Defeat Tigers

  1. Milo

    Good work Colmac, and Mahoney’s running is interesting, I for one have felt he has been avg most of the year. Something is awry with his form and also the captains mistake rate although Gutho’s effort can not be questioned. I believe Perham could be scouted by other clubs soon, or maybe just more nrl rumour’s but to me he is one we need to keep. Provides superb back up and utility value, and could fill in for Gutherson as needed. I know it will not happen but Perham could be a future fullback / centre for us.
    I am also of the view the bench is a potential issue, particularly the toll Junior has had with rep games, and the fallout with NB. Rein is a good option here too.
    We will not go anywhere if our defence does not get better……the next few games will tell i think.

    1. Spark

      The problem is that Perham is not a winger. He’s a superb centre and if we are going to play him, it has to be at centre. He has great speed and elusiveness, which is something we do lack. It would be a shame to see him go to somewhere like the Storm and see him become a very decent player.
      He is without doubt the best utility player as a 14 at the club.
      I can’t believe that we don’t play him there and we play Opacic as 14 ???? Boggles the mind !

  2. Shaun

    Yep, Gutho going back to a simple game of what he does best is a good observation. I’d say he is trying too hard at times to spark the team and he can do that by going back to basics and hanging around the ruck running support plays.

  3. Anonymous

    Giving Sivo a few games on reserve grade.🤣🤣you must be kidding mate .Russell won’t score that type of tries sivo scored they gonna fold him in half

    1. Jarrad

      Give him some credit. He was doing a fine job for us and even scored a hat trick until he was injured.

    2. Colmac

      Nope not kidding. Sivo doesn’t do the hard work coming out our own end. Yes he can score a try, but wingers these days need to do more than that. Bigger picture is the issue. Not maybe one or two barnstorming tries every now and then.

      1. Anonymous

        Doesn’t matter what you’s up to BA who he chose to play.You guys should go down to kellyville and chose the team to play week in week out instead of bagging players and coaching staff

    3. Spark

      Sivo is a conundrum. Very hard to stop close to the line but damn he’s slow ! And turns like the Titanic!
      I personally think that Sean Russell is an excellent winger. Fast and strong.

      1. Anonymous

        Try and stop sivo when he runs straight at you .I reckon shit will comes out from your pants.sean Russell will be folded in half by any NRL winger .if he was good he will be playing first grade and sivo will be on reserve so it doesn’t matter what you guys s always up to the coaching staff who plays so you guys can whinge as much as you like .

  4. BDon

    Tks Colmac. Play some tapes of Dragons Ravalawa, and Sivo will see how a large gentleman from Fiji should cart it up. Might be better than a spell in NSW Cup. Ravalawa has improved his cart ups in involvement, impact and consistency. Over to you Maika.

  5. Jarrad

    Totally agree with Mahoney being average. He’s gone away from all he did right last year (dummy half runs, not so many crash plays, better support). Whether it’s because he’s leaving next year or not it’s very disappointing.

    1. Prometheus

      Don’t you think the coach would pull Mahoney aside and tell him to run more if it wasn’t part of his game plan. It’s the way Arthur wants him to play.

  6. Luke

    Well written. Reed has been ordinary this year, very easy for the defence to rush up on the first receiver knowing reed isn’t going to run. I note at one point the other night we had a winger unmarked on a short side with reed either not paying attention or noticing it and shuffled the pass to a forward to be smacked. We are second last in the comp for dummy half runs.

    Gutho definitely needs to put the kicking boots away. The seven tackle sets cook out middles and in turn doesn’t allow us to build pressure.

    1. Shaun

      Gutho needs to can the short drop out. He seems to bring out at the precise moment in a game it is the absolute worst option. Saturday was a good example.

  7. Sec50

    I almost totally agree Colman. I would prefer Greig in the bench. I have watched him a couple of times and he has great go forward. Russell deserves a spot somewhere. He started the year in top form and has regained that form in Reggie’s. I know many on TCT consider Penesini to be the future and maybe he is. Does he have the required speed? But I would go with you in having Opacic in and Blake on the wing. At least with Junior and Matto back we should have a much better bench.

  8. Trapped in the 1970’s

    Good points Colmac. As for Reed you only need to go back one week and compare Cook’s play at dummy half, where he delivered his passes to his ball runners….chalk and cheese.

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